Characterization of Spent Printed Circuit Boards from Computers

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2017. The pollution caused by the spent printed circuit boards (PCBs) is currently a concern of researchers and environmental managers due to its large quantity and exceptionally complex properties. This study characterized printed circuit boards (PCBs) from discarded computers using a number of characterization techniques, including chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), granulometric analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The PCBs contain approximately 50 wt% metals, 25 wt% glass fibers and 25 wt% polymers. The principal metals include copper, calcium, tin, aluminum, zinc and lead. They are still wrapped by brominated epoxy resin after the PCBs are preliminarily crushed. As precious metals, such as gold and silver, are barely found in the PCBs, copper and tin are the main metallic elements of recycling value which warrants extra attention.

Publication Title

Minerals, Metals and Materials Series